Ministry of Islamic Affairs opens bidding process for Hajj agencies

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has opened the bidding process to select the Hajj agencies which will be taking Maldivian pilgrims to Mecca this year.

A ministry announcement read that the proposals should be submitted according to the updated Hajj regulations which were published yesterday (January 27).

Speaking to Minivan News, Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Aishath Muneeza has said that the updated regulations for Maldivian Hajj pilgrims would help prevent Hajj-related fraud cases in the future.

Under the new regulations, the Hajj license will not be released to the company if “anyone convicted or suspected fraudulent Hajj transactions are present in the board of directors or management,” requiring the companies to hand in the criminal records of all board members while submitting the proposals.

“The new law would also require the agencies to submit a timeline to the ministry giving itself deadlines such as the dates by when tickets are brought, money is taken from customers,” said Dr Muneeza.

State-owned the Hajj Corporation is to handle 50 percent of the quota given by the Saudi Arabian government, the remaining slots are equally distributed to three private companies after a bidding process.

Last year, the government covered the expenses of 121 defrauded customers of the Al-Fathuh Hajj Umra Group with an amount in excess of US$500,000.